Officials are encouraging the public to take time in September for National Preparedness Month and plan for all the possible hazards that could arise at work, home or elsewhere.
“Being prepared for emergencies can literally mean the difference between life and death for many people,” Cobb Emergency Management Agency Director Cassie Mazloom said. “If nothing else, planning ahead can help reduce the problems that arise with a crisis and can make the event more bearable.”
Becoming prepared is a three step process: Become informed, make a plan and take action. The first of these simply involves gathering information and thinking carefully about what possible hazards your family might face, ranging from a power outage to a tornado. It can include learning the different methods available to be alerted about emergencies.
The second step requires deciding the items you would need during a crisis, such as flashlights, food and water. Families should map out a communications plan, so they can get in touch with each other if they’re separated, and a safe location where they can meet.
One also has to think about potential pet issues, how to solve mobility concerns for older people and what amount of medicines your family might need if they can’t go to the pharmacy for a week or more. Identify important papers you might need copies of, including insurance policies, identification and bank account records.
The third step, taking action, means making the plan a part of your daily life.
“It doesn’t do any good to have a plan to solve a problem if you aren’t ready to implement it,” Mazloom said. “You need to set aside resources and make certain everyone in your family knows what to do when the time comes.”
Assembling emergency kits for your home and motor vehicles ensure the items you need are available when you need them. First aid kits fill an obvious requirement, but local maps may not be considered essential until you no longer have Internet access. A radio can help keep in contact with the world if your cable is out.
Residents have several opportunities this month to learn more about how they can handle emergencies and even help first responders through Community Emergency Response Team classes.
East Cobb County Area
- Learn how to help yourself, family, workplace and community by attending CERT classes on three consecutive Saturdays, Sept. 9, 16 and 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. St. Ann instructors teach basic disaster preparation and response skills necessary in the event of a communitywide emergency, when professional responders’ arrival may be delayed. A certificate will be issued by the Cobb Emergency Management Agency upon completion of the full course (all three Saturdays). Classes are free and open to the public. Contact Linda Walsh at 770-552-6400 ext. 6019 or LwalshRN@st-ann.org for more information and registration.
- This CERT class will be held on three Saturdays – Sept. 9 and 23 and Oct. 7 -- at the Ben Roberston Community Center, 2753 Watts Drive, Kennesaw. CERT basic training is designed to prepare you to help yourself, your family, your workplace and your community in the event of a major disaster. Email: email@example.com with any questions or use this link to sign-up goo.gl/forms/93PN2zTZ8doKTeOC2.
For more information about preparing for emergencies go to the web site http://ready.ga.gov/make-a-plan/.